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Author Topic: Baofeng UV-5RA report ~ Disaster  (Read 48367 times)
KK6GNP
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Posts: 158




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« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2013, 03:07:11 PM »

I've programmed four Baofeng UV-5R's, seven BF-888S's, and one UV-B5 using both the Baofeng and the CHIRP software with no problem.  In fact, the only problem I had with one of the radios was the charger which turned out to be a broken lead between the wall wart charger and the charging base.  The total cost for all of these radios was less than the price of my Kenwood TH-F6A.  Baofeng has done an amazing job producing radios that perform as well as they do for a fraction of the price we're used to paying.  Sure, there's a few lemons out there but it's still an amazing value in handheld radios.  I used to hate Chinese products, especially those made for American and Japanese companies trying to make believe they were something they weren't.   These, however, are original designs with a few funny Chinese quirks but they are nicely packaged and work well.  Yes, I am a Baofeng fan!

I don't disagree with you at all.  In fact, I would say that it is OUR DUTY to report problems with these devices so that they can be improved.  If we all sit around here like a bunch of fanboys dismissing obvious problems with the radios and accessories, then why would Baofeng ever bother to fix them, or improve QA?

As someone who has come to believe that most of the radios on the market are ludicrously overpriced, I would love to see a couple companies come in here and make some great bang for the buck transceivers at all levels.  I'm planning to buy a YouKits 5 band SSB radio soon to play with that, and I love the idea of the functionality there with such a great price point.

I have no brand loyalty here.  This Baofeng is literally the first ham radio I have purchased (because I'm being careful about how I spend my money on my base station).  I have no desire to bash them for the sake of bashing them.  
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73 ~ Cory (JeepEscape)
KK6GNP
W4KYR
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Posts: 622




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« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2013, 04:05:01 PM »

 I'm planning to buy a YouKits 5 band SSB radio soon to play with that, and I love the idea of the functionality there with such a great price point.
 

Are you talking about the TJ2B-MK2 SSB 5 band HT ? They are taking pre-order and will ship Oct 15.


http://www.ebay.com/itm/Youkits-TJ2B-MK2-HF-5-BAND-SSB-HANDHELD-TRANSCEIVER-Assembled-Pre-order-/281159731864
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Still using Windows XP Pro.
KK6GNP
Member

Posts: 158




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« Reply #17 on: September 26, 2013, 04:19:28 PM »

 I'm planning to buy a YouKits 5 band SSB radio soon to play with that, and I love the idea of the functionality there with such a great price point.
 

Are you talking about the TJ2B-MK2 SSB 5 band HT ? They are taking pre-order and will ship Oct 15.


http://www.ebay.com/itm/Youkits-TJ2B-MK2-HF-5-BAND-SSB-HANDHELD-TRANSCEIVER-Assembled-Pre-order-/281159731864

Yes... I'm also interested in the MK2 - TJ4A 4 BAND BACKPACK TRANSCEIVER when it comes out.  I like keeping an eye on their products.  I know they aren't the best things out there, but seems like there may be some value for the money spent.

I'm getting ready to buy my first home base rig, but I'm also into outdoors activities, so I want an SSB capable QRP rig.  The KX3 is a bit much considering all the other stuff I have to get right now.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2013, 04:25:09 PM by KK6GNP » Logged

73 ~ Cory (JeepEscape)
KK6GNP
KK6GNP
Member

Posts: 158




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« Reply #18 on: September 26, 2013, 05:15:59 PM »

I wanted to come back here and tell you all this myself...

SUCCESS:  I was finally able to get my UV-5RA to talk to Chirp on my main Windows 8 64bit monster computer here.  I can't explain it.  I tried this on two other Windows 8 laptops (both 64bit) and a Windows 7 32bit laptop, and none of them work.  All seem to be running the same 3.2.0.0 driver, but it's only working on my main desktop, which I had not previously tried because I don't use it for experimenting with hardware.

I'm going to go back, when I have time, and expunge the 3.2.0.0 drivers from one of the non-working computers, then reload again and see if that helps.

I'm glad I was able to get this working with Chirp, but I still say it's a pretty strange situation for anyone to tolerate.  The only reason I unboxed this radio to try again today is because some of you reported similar problems and were able to correct them.  I'm not happy about having to fight with the driver on the other computers, but so be it.

I spent a little time listening to some folks on one of our active local repeaters here, and it sounded pretty good.  I'm going to get to know the "regulars" around here before I transmit. (I have been wisely told to listen for a while, as a new ham, before I worry about transmitting.)

I had also purchased the Nagoya NA-701 antenna to replace the rubber duck.  Switching between the two shows the Nagoya to have superior receive over the rubber duck, as many people have reported. The headset that comes with the Baofeng sounds awful, but works.  The handset also has poor sound quality compared to the radio's speaker, but works. Understandable considering the price for all this stuff, I suppose.

The charger is still, of course, dead.  With that being the only big issue now, I've decided to keep this unit, and purchase a TYT charger for it.  Hell, I might even make one using an Arduino mini or something.  I still feel this was a valid discussion, because at least for me, this unit was more problematic than I'm normally willing to tolerate on a commercial product, even when it's a great deal.  I'd like to see Baofeng improve their QA, and continue providing inexpensive units for people.

I'm also going ahead with my purchase of a Yaesu HT, but haven't decided on model yet.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2013, 05:18:55 PM by KK6GNP » Logged

73 ~ Cory (JeepEscape)
KK6GNP
N5INP
Member

Posts: 1323




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« Reply #19 on: September 26, 2013, 05:52:30 PM »

I wanted to come back here and tell you all this myself...

SUCCESS:  I was finally able to get my UV-5RA to talk to Chirp on my main Windows 8 64bit monster computer here.  I can't explain it.  I tried this on two other Windows 8 laptops (both 64bit) and a Windows 7 32bit laptop, and none of them work.  All seem to be running the same 3.2.0.0 driver, but it's only working on my main desktop, which I had not previously tried because I don't use it for experimenting with hardware.

Thanks for telling us and I'm glad you got it going. Sorry about the charger experience, but hopefully it isn't spoiling your experience too much.  Smiley
« Last Edit: September 26, 2013, 06:03:18 PM by N5INP » Logged
KK6GNP
Member

Posts: 158




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« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2013, 08:07:12 PM »

I wanted to come back here and tell you all this myself...

SUCCESS:  I was finally able to get my UV-5RA to talk to Chirp on my main Windows 8 64bit monster computer here.  I can't explain it.  I tried this on two other Windows 8 laptops (both 64bit) and a Windows 7 32bit laptop, and none of them work.  All seem to be running the same 3.2.0.0 driver, but it's only working on my main desktop, which I had not previously tried because I don't use it for experimenting with hardware.

Thanks for telling us and I'm glad you got it going. Sorry about the charger experience, but hopefully it isn't spoiling your experience too much.  Smiley

Thanks for your input as well. I'm going to carry this around a lot when I get a charger going. As I said, it seems like a well built little rig. More so than I expected for the price.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2013, 08:32:41 PM by KK6GNP » Logged

73 ~ Cory (JeepEscape)
KK6GNP
K7KBN
Member

Posts: 2837




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« Reply #21 on: September 27, 2013, 07:18:03 AM »

One receives that for which one tenders remuneration.
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
KK6GNP
Member

Posts: 158




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« Reply #22 on: September 27, 2013, 07:24:26 AM »

Being the glutton for punishment I often am, I ended up pulling the trigger on a second UV-5RA last night, from Amazon.  It was going to cost me $15 + 1-2 weeks wait for a new charger from China.

I figured for a little more money, I'd have a cheap backup HT, a second battery, and hopefully, a working charger. It will be here in a couple days.  Rolling the dice..... let's see what comes up.. hahah!

Side Note:  I'm paying with microcontrollers and PCB's these days, so I was looking around for a homebrew Li-ion charger project online.  I found this cool little board over at Adafruit:

http://learn.adafruit.com/li-ion-and-lipoly-batteries/proper-charging

Since I have a defunct desktop charger, I'm thinking about modifying it with my own internals.

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73 ~ Cory (JeepEscape)
KK6GNP
N3AEG
Member

Posts: 41




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« Reply #23 on: September 27, 2013, 08:09:34 AM »

I had the radio and CHIRP working fine.  I then tried to get the cable/CHIRP to work on a Mac.  Every time I plugged it into the radio, the radio transmitted.  I moved it to my old laptop that previously worked and had the same problem.  I think this was either a problem with the driver or the cable.  In any case, I replaced the cable with the Baofeng labeled USB cable, installed the drivers and all was well.

Your problem is most likely the driver or the cable.
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KE4JOY
Member

Posts: 1384




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« Reply #24 on: September 27, 2013, 09:49:23 AM »

As I mentioned earlier the cable is not just a cable there is a chip in there. There were lots of bootleg knock off chips that are quite particular to the operating system and the firmware version of the radio you have.

You have to make sure you get the proper USB drivers for both the radio and computer/OS you are using. Also be very wary of 'bargin' cables.

There is a website that cuts through some of the confusion.

http://www.uv-5r.com/

Scrolll down to the how to guides.
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KK6GNP
Member

Posts: 158




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« Reply #25 on: September 27, 2013, 10:28:24 AM »

The most troubling aspect of all of this is that you need a cable and software driver from 2007, to program a radio manufactured in 2013.    This is something I've noticed with a lot of ham radio gear in general.  The manufactures just want to keep churning out the same old designs, for the same old large sums of money, rather than keeping them up to date.  I think ham radio is one of the few markets where this is even remotely acceptable for electronics devices.

Ultimately, this is why SDR is such a big deal, in my opinion.  Put all the more common radio electronics in a box, and let software and peripherals, easily updated, do the rest.
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73 ~ Cory (JeepEscape)
KK6GNP
K7KBN
Member

Posts: 2837




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« Reply #26 on: September 27, 2013, 05:29:47 PM »

Being the glutton for punishment I often am, I ended up pulling the trigger on a second UV-5RA last night, from Amazon.  It was going to cost me $15 + 1-2 weeks wait for a new charger from China.

I figured for a little more money, I'd have a cheap backup HT, a second battery, and hopefully, a working charger. It will be here in a couple days.  Rolling the dice..... let's see what comes up.. hahah!

Side Note:  I'm paying with microcontrollers and PCB's these days, so I was looking around for a homebrew Li-ion charger project online.  I found this cool little board over at Adafruit:

http://learn.adafruit.com/li-ion-and-lipoly-batteries/proper-charging

Since I have a defunct desktop charger, I'm thinking about modifying it with my own internals.

You mean like your own spleen? Duodenum?  Stuff like that?   Grin  Keep us posted!


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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
WA7KGX
Member

Posts: 104




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« Reply #27 on: September 27, 2013, 09:41:09 PM »

I have a Beofeng USB programming cable.  It apparently has an illegal
copy of a Prolific USB chip.  I've read that the Prolific driver in Win 7
tests for an illegal chip and refuses to work without saying why.  Linux
works fine with that cable, and the CHIRP "nightly builds" support both
the uv5rplus and b6.
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KK6GNP
Member

Posts: 158




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« Reply #28 on: September 28, 2013, 12:16:10 PM »

My second UV-5RA came today, and it works great.  I now have a working charger, and a second (backup) HT and battery all for less than $100.

I'm going to end up with a tri-band HT here for local use eventually, but I need to invest money in my HF setup before I spend any more on uhf/vhf.  I'm glad I was able to buy the Baofengs to get me up and running, allowing me to put more money towards my first HF transceiver.
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73 ~ Cory (JeepEscape)
KK6GNP
KG6BRG
Member

Posts: 119




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« Reply #29 on: September 29, 2013, 05:47:27 AM »

My second UV-5RA came today, and it works great.  I now have a working charger, and a second (backup) HT and battery all for less than $100.

I'm going to end up with a tri-band HT here for local use eventually, but I need to invest money in my HF setup before I spend any more on uhf/vhf.  I'm glad I was able to buy the Baofengs to get me up and running, allowing me to put more money towards my first HF transceiver.

From disaster to happy in 2 days.
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